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NOTE: This letter was written just two weeks after the death of Andrew Bradford McCullagh, the second husband of the writer of this letter, Margaret née Jackson. Margaret would be 44 years old at the time of this letter and about six months pregnant with her tenth and last child. At the time of his death (and this letter) the children were ages 8, 7, 5, 3, and 1. The letter belongs to Gika Jackson and permission to transcribe & post has been given. Sharon Oddie Brown, December 7, 2003

[Envelope}
Miss Reed [1] ,
Pensionn at Ray Haldemann,
Friez près Grandson
Canton do Fond
Switzerland [2] .
August 4, 1897

Slieveroe [3]
Sunday

My darling Eva

Just as I have a little quiet time this evg.  I’ll write to you. Indeed I feel so dazed with all the events of the past month that I can hardly collect my thoughts to write. I got your letter yesterday & someway it did me more good than all the other heaps of letters I have got. Many a time I longed to have you with me but I could not think of taking you home. After a little, things will go on as usual and the dead will be almost forgotten all the annoyance & vexation came through that cursed drink [4] & after all are there not worse vices?

There was nothing immoral or dishonourable to be laid to my poor pets charge and that is a great comfort to me. The thing I am sure of that he loved us all & you best of the three. He did not mention you during his illness, indeed he was too ill all the time – 20 days – to think of anyone. Lizaba [5] & Brownie [6] were away a week before he missed them, & after the second day he never asked for Georgie [7] , but he used to watch for your letters as anxiously as I did, he never forgot the miserable row before you left, but he knew he was to blame for it himself – Life seems very lonely to me now but I have so many others to think of that I will not have time to brood over my own troubles – God is very good to me. I have always so many kind friends in all my troubles – Andy [8] was only two days in the grave when Uncle Tom [9] sent me £50. James McC [10] gave me a present of £5 & G.mother [11] also.

My poor old man made a will leaving everything he had to me, & although its not very valuable still it shows the confidence he had in me.

Anything like the kindness of the neighbours I never experienced. Mrs. McClelland [12] kinder than all. I got Lizaba & Brownie home this day week. G.mother came down on Monday & left next day bringing Aunt Mary [13] home with her as Mollie [14] was tired being alone & they are expecting Kathleen [15] & Amy [16] over this week. Amy is much better. Sallie [17] & Mollie [18] are still in Liscalgot [19] . James McC stayed with us till yesterday, so we were hampered for room, but I hope to get them home this week.

Annie Johnston [20] gave the little ones black dresses & hats & I sent money up with Aunt Mary [21] to get things for the other two.

I believe Aunt Bessie [22] intends coming up for a few days, indeed I did not ask her, she treated me most shamefully all these years but I am not one to keep up spite, so I will try to forget the past. One would think I had done something dishonourable to her the way they treated me – Mollie [23] went to Belfast last Wednesday and got our mourning, of course the things are not home yet. She was down from Armagh with the three Brown [24] girls Jeannie [25] & Kathleen Jackson [26] , so she was in Aunt Kate’s [27] for dinner.

We got an awful fright with Aunt Jenny [28] on Friday evg. Mrs. Carlisle [29] & Miss Isabella [30] were coming down for tea, & about 3 o’c Aunt J. disappeared. I went down the lawn to the boys where they were working with hay I knew if they had seen her & Patrick [31] said he saw her go along the avenue some time before. I concluded she had gone to see Mrs. M[?] Reid [32] & I sent Bridget [33] there only to find she was not there. We looked every imaginable place & at the end of about two hours  she was found up to the neck in water in that old drain at the right hand side of the lane, the place Tom [34] once jumped into, more dead than alive. What a sight she was four men carrying her up the lane all sure she could only live a few minutes – I sent off for the Dr. feeling sure that artificial respiration was her only chance, & in the meantime we got off her wet clothes & got her feet into hot water & kept rubbing her body with brandy, poor Miss Isabella working away like a brick – all the time Aunt J quite unconscious & hardly able to breathe. She seemed choked up with water & weeds. We got her carried to bed & surrounded with jars & hot irons - & after about two hours she fell asleep. We feared it was the sleep of death – The poor Dr. came perspiring from every pore after a hurried ride up on his bicycle, Aunt J. waked up when he came into the room & he said “How are you Miss Reid”. To our amazement she replied “Very Well”, & she just seemed as if nothing had happened, he had not a single thing to do for her, but he came up next day as he said she might take inflammation of the lungs or bronchitis however she took nothing at all & is just as well as ever & remembers nothing of the whole escapade.

Mrs. McClelland & Mollie sat up with her that night.

Aunt Annie [35] is at the Manse now. Mattie [36] was over for dinner yesterday.

Had you a dreadful thunderstorm while you were at Zurich? We saw a report of it in the paper. Did you get Uncle David’s [37] £5? Mattie sent it to you through the post office on Monday last? I must stop

My dear child
With much love & ________
Mother.



[1] Eva Oliver Reed (1876-1968), daughter of Margaret Reed neé Jackson & Robert Hamilton Reed.
[2] It is interesting that this would be about the same time that Jeannie Jackson (later Moorhead) a first cousin of Eva’s was also in Switzerland going to school.
[3] The family home that Margaret inherited after the death of her first husband, Robert Hamilton Reed.
[4] See also the 1889 letter from Eliza Jackson to Emily Gilmore which mentions concerns of drinking & Andrew Coulter Bradford Jackson.
[5] Elizabeth McCullagh (1892-1872) Third daughter of Andrew Bradford McCullagh & Margaret Jackson.
[6] Alice Margaret McCullagh (1894-1945) Fourth daughter of Andrew Bradford McCullagh & Margaret Jackson.
[7] George David McCullagh, first son and fifth child of Andrew Bradford McCullagh & Margaret Jackson
[8] Andrew Bradford McCullagh (d 21 July 1897)
[9] Probably Sir Thomas Jackson (1844-1914), older brother of Margaret Jackson.
[10] Probably James McCullagh, brother of Andrew Bradford McCullagh
[11] Probably Elizabeth Oliver (1815-1903)
[13] Mary Griffin nee Jackson (1844-1921)
[14] Mary Menary (1872-1946), daughter of Mary Griffin nee Jackson above
[15] Kathleen McCullagh Jackson (1872-1958), first daughter of Sir Thomas Jackson & Amelia Lydia Dare
[16] Amy Oliver Jackson (1874-1962), third daughter of Sir Thomas Jackson & Amelia Lydia Dare
[17] Sarah McCullagh (1889-1965) first daughter of Andrew Bradford McCullagh & Margaret Jackson
[18] Mary McCullagh (1890-1932) second daughter of Andrew Bradford McCullagh
[19] Liscalgot – the old Jackson home – I can’t remember who would be living there then - probably Eliezer & Sarah (Jackson) Gilmore..
[20] At this point, I can but speculate but I like the speculation of Wendy Jack, that based on the reference in the affidavit made by Robert Thomas Wright in 1937 that refers to an Annie Johnson - this could be the Mary Anne Wright (daughter of Robert Wright and Sarah Jane Reed) who married a Johnston. This would seem to fit as she would be a niece of Margaret McCullagh/Reed/Jackson's first husband Robert Hamilton Reed.
[21] Mary Griffin née Jackson (1844-1921), older sister of Margaret Jackson
[22] Bessie Brown née Jackson, (1843-1923) older sister of Margaret Jackson
[23] probably Mary Menary (1872-1946) daughter of Mary Griffin née Jackson (1844-1921), older sister of Margaret Jackson
[24] Probably Elizabeth (1870-1942), Mary (1874-1927) & Frances (1881-1928) Brown, all daughters of Margaret Jackson’s sister, Bessie Brown.
[25] Most likely the Jane Ledlie Jackson who married an unnamed Cosgrove. She is probably the eldest child of John Jackson & Kate Whiting. This is in the "educated guess" territory.
[26] Kathleen McCullagh Jackson (1872-1958), first daughter of Sir Thomas Jackson & Amelia Lydia Dare
[27] Possibly Kate Maria Jane Jackson née Whiting, wife of John Jackson, first born son & older brother of Margaret Jackson.
[28] Possibly Jane Reed, b 1812, the unmarried daughter of Hamilton Reed & Martha Carlisle and an aunt of Robert Hamilton Reed, Margaret Jackson’s first husband.
[29] There could be a connection to the Carlisle family of Martha Carlisle
[30] Isobella ?
[31] Patrick is likely a farm hand. His last name not yet known
[32] Mrs. M Reid?
[33] Bridget was likely an indoor servant, her last name not known yet
[34] Thomas Jackson Reed (1881-1956) son of Robert Hamilton Reed & Margaret Jackson
[35] possibly Annie Reed, unmarried sister of Robert Hamilton Reed.
[36] Maud Elizabeth Reed (1878-1958)
[37] David Jackson (1855-1903), younger brother of Margaret Jackson & manager of the branch of the HSBC in Yokohama.

 

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